Cato says stores to remain closed through April 16Mar 30, 2020 05:30PM ● By David Dykes
Charlotte-based Cato Corp. (NYSE: CATO) said it will extend its temporary store closures through April 16.
Given the uncertainty of COVID-19 and subsequent government actions, the company will continue to assess the situation market by market, Cato officials said.
"The health and safety of our customers and associates remains our top concern," said John Cato, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We continue to assess the information available and take action with the focus on protecting our customers, associates and communities we serve."
As a result of the prolonged store closures, coupled with North Carolina's "stay-at-home" executive order impacting the home office, a smaller workforce is required to execute essential business activities, Cato officials said.
The company has temporarily furloughed the majority of its distribution center associates, as well a portion of its corporate associates, the officials said.. Those impacted will continue to receive enrolled benefits.
"To enable the company to meet the challenges of these unprecedented times, we had to make some very difficult decisions," said Cato, the CEO. "We recognize the weight of the responsibilities we have to our associates, customers and stakeholders. We have taken these difficult steps in an effort to safeguard the health of our company as events continue to unfold."